There are a wide variety of diseases that can have a negative effect on our pets. Some of these diseases are even considered chronic or long-term illnesses. These situations can be challenging for all pet owners because it takes a heightened level of awareness, attention, and focus on your pet that they did not previously need. It may also mean that your pet acts differently than they used to. However, finding the best solutions for their care can help to improve their quality of life and ensure that they are feeling as good as possible.
Any pet owner can tell you that pets can get sick. Sometimes there is a virus, or they were exposed to something that triggers an illness. A wide variety of these illnesses can be treated with a dose of antibiotic, or another simple avenue of treatment prescribed by our veterinary staff. However, there are also several conditions that require more than a single pill, and when you understand your pet’s condition, you are better prepared to help them manage the illness.
Some of these chronic conditions are:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Cushing’s and Addison’s Disease
- Hyper or hypothyroidism
In addition to these conditions, recent studies show a staggering double and triple-digit increase in obesity rates for pets since 2007. Overweight pets also become more susceptible to a variety of other chronic conditions.
At Harbor Veterinary Clinic, we want to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to help you understand your pets needs and develop a treatment plan that works for you. This means that we will ensure that we properly diagnose your pet’s condition before we try to just guess at a routine. There are a variety of different tests, including cutting edge veterinary technology and education, that we use to determine the health of animals every day.
Many pets who have a chronic disease will need more frequent visits to our office. This enables us to monitor your pet’s health closely and adjust the treatment plan so that it has the best outcome for you and your pet. One option that many pet owners should consider is purchasing an insurance policy for your pet that includes the management of chronic disease or illness.
Things to Look For
Because our pets cannot clearly tell us what is bothering them, it is important to monitor their behavior regularly and identify when certain behaviors change. Chronic illnesses can often present in a wide variety of ways, but to help you understand some of the issues to watch for, we broke down the illness with some of the most common symptoms.
- Allergies – Chewing paws, hair loss, diarrhea, flatulence, several ear infections
- Chronic Renal Issues – vomiting, loss of appetite, excessive thirst, and urination
- Dementia – confusion, pacing, sleep disturbances, inability to recognize family members
- Cushing’s Disease – increased appetite, increased urination, panting, hair loss, skin infections
- Periodontal Disease – Dark, discolored teeth, bleeding gums, drooling, facial swelling, refusal to eat.
- Feline Anemia – pale gums, lethargic, pale nose, appetite loss
- Diabetes Mellitus – weight loss even though eating is normal, excessive thirst and urination
- Hyperthyroidism – weight loss, increased appetite, poor grooming, excessive drinking
If you have noticed that your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, consider calling Harbor Veterinary Clinic in Ashtabula, OH today to schedule an appointment 440-969-6060. We want to ensure that we identify issues as soon as possible so that your pet can feel like themselves again. Our talented and caring staff are here to make sure that you understand the issues and your options for treatment so we can work together to keep your pets healthy.